This offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders have maintained an upward trajectory by adding more talent to their roster. Derek Carr stands at the forefront of their revitalized charge as one of the key pieces of the future.
The increased activity in the AFC West this month has put the Raiders into high gear to keep pace with the division. However, the contract extension talks with their Pro Bowl quarterback may not be as fluid as hoped.
Raiders embark on busy offseason
After the Raiders reached the playoffs for the first time in five years, the franchise has kept the pedal to the metal.
Las Vegas first hired former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as the next head coach. They then began roster retooling efforts by signing star pass-rusher Chander Jones to a three-year, $51 million deal shortly after Maxx Crosby signed a four-year, $94 million extension. The front office didn’t stop there by trading for star wideout Davante Adams and inking him to a five-year, $140 million deal.
The Raiders are now working toward a new deal with their star quarterback, but that doesn’t appear to be an entirely smooth process.
Josh McDaniels suggests Derek Carr contract extension conflict with Raiders
The next line of business for the Raiders concerns getting Derek Carr’s next contract.
Carr is final year of his five-year, $125 million deal making nearly $19.9 million in base salary, and has a $100,000 workout bonus for the 2022 campaign. Las Vegas recently opened up extension talks with the 31-year-old in hopes of having a deal worked out before next season.
However, new head coach Josh McDaniels may have hinted at a possible contract standoff between Carr and the Raiders.
“Derek’s gonna have to make decisions about what’s best for him,” McDaniels said via Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “That’s what each man’s right is, and they should do that for their families. At the same time, we’ve gotta try to do what’s right for the team. There will be a sweet spot in there for everybody, hopefully.”
It’s no secret that Carr wants to play his entire career with the Raiders. However, the recent upswing in quarterback contract extensions has upped his asking price. Over the last few weeks before the Davante Adams trade, reports emerged that Carr wanted an annual salary of $35 million, possibly pushing upward toward $40 million per season.
Recent contracts impact his desired price range, such as Matthew Stafford working out a four-year, $160 million extension with the Los Angeles Rams, making $40 million a season. Deshaun Watson’s five-year, $230 million deal with the Cleveland Browns pushes that figure through the roof with $46 million per season.
Lastly, Aaron Rodgers’ three-year, $150.8 million extension with the Green Bay Packers puts him at roughly over a $50 million annual salary.
All that gives Carr more communication to push for a higher contract. However, McDaniels’ comments indicate How much the former Pro Bowler asks for will dictate his next deal with the Raiders.
Las Vegas is eyeing much more than a playoff berth
As much as the Raiders will likely draw a firm line on what they will pay Derek Carr on his next deal, the two sides will ultimately work out an extension.
Las Vegas wouldn’t have traded for Davante Adams if they weren’t committed to Carr as the long-term answer. The Raiders have found a strong sense of direction that is needed to compete in what will be the NFL’s toughest division.
Whatever the contract extension numbers wind up being, there comes an expectation level that Carr will have to take the franchise to the next level. The Raiders want much more than a playoff berth, which became further underlined by acquiring Adams.
The front office will continue to add to the roster through the draft and free agency, but the motive is clear to push the Raiders toward much more than an AFC West division title.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.